Sick Leave Laws in Arizona
Sick leave regulations, just like other employment laws, get updated periodically in Arizona. The latest modification was enforced in July 2017. The change was introduced as a part of the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act provisions.
Legal Requirements for Paid Sick Leave
Both private and municipal employers in Arizona have to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The manner in which sick leave is to be accrued is one hour of paid sick leave per 30 hours of work. This minimum requirement is not limited to a specific period of time.
Regulations are somewhat different for big companies and small businesses.
Companies that employ more than 15 workers are obliged to allow their employees to use at least 40 hours of sick leave per year. Companies that have fewer than 15 employees must give the workers at least 24 hours of sick leave per year.
Arizona Revised Statutes 23-373 outlines the manner in which the sick leave can be used. According to state regulations, the earned paid sick leave can either be used by a worker or by a family member. The types of expenditure to cover include medical care and emergency assistance, an absence due to domestic violence, the treatment of both physiological and mental conditions.
Whenever sick time is earned but not used, it will be carried over to the coming year. Instead of allowing the carrying of sick leave from one year to the next, employers can provide their workers with a financial compensation.
Employer Obligations in Connection to the Paid Sick Leave
The legislative changes that became effective in the summer of 2017 also put some additional burden on the shoulders of employers. There are several key obligations that companies have to fulfill in order to meet all employment law requirements.
For a start, employees should be informed clearly about their paid sick leave rights. There’s a mandatory requirement for the publication of a sick leave notice that highlights the protections that workers are entitled to under the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act.
These protections apply to all workers – full-time, part-time employees and seasonal workers.
The administrative requirements in relationship with the paid sick leave have also increased. As of July 2017, employers in Arizona are required to:
- Maintain a thorough payroll record for a period of four years
- Provide information about paid sick time on the paycheck of each worker
- Provide information about the earned paid sick leave on the paycheck of each worker
Employers are also responsible for finding a replacement. Workers cannot be burdened with identifying a professional who could cover their responsibilities at the time of the sick leave.
The paid sick leave is also not a reason for either disciplinary action or the termination of a certain person’s employment contract. If an employer uses such reasons to fire someone, a wrongful termination will occur. Wrongful terminations can be challenged both in front of the right institution and during a civil lawsuit.
How Paid Sick Leave is to be Used
Employees are free to use the paid sick time as it is accrued. On occasions, an employer may ask employees to wait 90 days in order to begin using the paid sick leave.
The paid sick time in Arizona can be used in hourly increments.
If the upcoming absence of the employee is foreseeable, they will be required to notify the employer in advance. In such instances, the leave should be scheduled in a way that will result in a minimal work interruption.
A final thing to keep in mind is that whenever the sick leave continues for three consecutive days or more, the employer has the right to require information and documents that show the paid sick time was used for one of the purposes mentioned already in this guide.